For those of you who don't know. A visit to a psychiatrist is much like a visit to another doctor. There isn't an exam room that you have to sit in, though.
You go into the doctor's office and discuss your symptoms/medicine/side effects. Mostly, they don't provide in-depth talk therapy; you will need a psychotherapist/psychologist for that. The psychiatrist's main function is to monitor your medicine.
What about talking to a doctor on the phone or on video chat? This seems to be a growing trend. Medicare is even covering it. This is a great idea since we have a large shortage of psychiatrists. They can help people who are too afraid to leave their house. Some doctors are using it to treat prison inmates.
This is also a more discreet way to see your doctor if you are worried about privacy. Since there is no office to go to, no one can see you there. People shouldn't be ashamed of mental illness, but some people are or they just really want their privacy.
One doctor had this complaint about it:
“A caring touch or handing a patient a tissue can never be possible. I am unable to clearly see self-inflicted wounds or tears.”
In 2006, South Carolina faced a major shortage of hospital beds for psychiatric patients. They started a program to get the doctors to see patients in remote, rural areas online. It has saved the local hospitals a lot of money.
If you can't find a psychiatrist in your area, this is one way to get your treatment. I'm all for making treatment more accessible. This is such a great idea!